The Marlboro man has taken the reins of the Prancing Horse.
Ferrari on Saturday announced Louis Camilleri, the former chairman and CEO of Philip Morris International and a current Ferrari board member, will be the company’s new CEO. The news followed the surprise announcement that current CEO and chairman Sergio Marchionne was “unable to return to work" following health issues.
Shareholders are clearly rattled by the change, since Marchionne was the architect of the company’s success as a public company and its strategy of expanding production and models. The share price is down more than 4 percent in trading midday Monday. The decline puts it on pace for its worst day since Sept. 7, 2017, when it lost more than 7 percent.
And there are already grumblings among Ferrari investors, dealers and collectors about whether a former consumer-goods chief truly has the car expertise and specialized knowledge about the most storied and vaunted name in autos and racing to maintain its exclusivity.
"Ferrari is all about emotions, style, success and drama,” said Marcel Massini, a Ferrari historian and respected advisor to Ferrari collectors. “Buyers want a leader to identify with and consequently a true and passionate car guy would certainly be a big help."
Yet Camilleri may be just what Ferrari needs right now.